DEJECTED defender Scott Morgan has toasted Peter Nicholas for allowing him to rebuild his football career at Newport County.

The 28-year-old centre-back last night agreed a temporary contract at Dr Martens League County with boss Nicholas hoping to make Morgan's move permanent.

Centre-back Morgan, named in Nicholas' Newport squad to face Weston-super-Mare in the Premier Division tonight, has suffered a nightmare few months.

He was sacked by Conference side Forest Green Rovers for an on-the-field bust-up with team-mate Martin Foster.

Stand-in skipper Foster gave Morgan a rocket for conceding a last-minute penalty in Forest Green's game at Halifax on September 27. Morgan reacted and head-butted Foster.

"A red mist just came over me," he admitted last night.

"It was completely out of character. It is something that I have never done before or will ever do again. It was a real shame but now I must prove myself once again."

Indeed, Rovers boss Colin Addison, himself an ex-County manager, agreed: "It was a complete one-off.

"Other than that isolated incident, Morgan has a very good attitude. He's a big, strong lad and a very good footballer. It was just a shame how his time ended at Forest Green, but he knew there was no other option. But he's a good signing for Newport County."

Morgan only signed a two-year deal at Forest Green in the summer after being released by crisis-stricken Welsh Premier champions Barry Town due to their escalating financial plight.

Morgan sighed: "It has been a difficult time for me of late, but I'm now looking to rebuild my career at Newport County.

"I turned down Peter Nicholas and Newport County in the summer to join Forest Green because I wanted to test myself in the Conference, so Peter could have given up on me.

"But to be fair he has been in regular contact and I am very grateful to him and the club to allow me to prove myself again. I know Peter well as we were both at Barry together so I should settle in quickly."

Morgan is set to make his County bow tonight as Frank Gregan's Weston visit Spytty Park. Nicholas, however, is still pondering whether to play Morgan from the start or keep faith with centre-back pair Jeff Eckhardt and Andrew Thomas, who have helped County to three successive victories.

"I played the first seven games with Forest Green," said Morgan, "but as I haven't played for a while my match-fitness is lacking.

"But once I get that back I'll go all-out to help County climb the table. I have watched Newport a few times recently and with the players they have got their lowly league position of 15th is a false one."

County gun for their fourth league win on the bounce tonight, a feat last achieved by the Exiles in February/March 2001.

"We will not be complacent, I promise you," said Nicholas.

"The signing of Scott Morgan will give us another boost. He's a good player and will keep competition among the squad strong.

"I'm looking for an improvement in every game. The 2-0 win at Welling on Saturday was our best performance of the season but I'm looking for even more tonight."

Nicholas issued a clean bill of health with striker Garry Shephard, who is suffering from a knee problem, ready to play through the pain-barrier.

Newport County (from) D Roberts, T Evans, A Thomas, J Eckhardt, G Lloyd (c), A Mumford, G Phillips, N Davies, R Plant, N Davis, G Shephard, A Stevenson, S Morgan, G Wesson, C Rogers, S Williams, J Phillips.